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Friday, February 22, 2013

In the Mood, what to do if your muse is napping by Kitty Griffin

It’s time to get busy. You’ve told yourself, “BUTT IN CHAIR” I’m getting that next chapter done! But you sit and nothing happens. Tick. Tick. Tock.

You sit and sit. You write a paragraph, but it stinks. You delete it. Try again.

Have you ever dealt with just not being in the mood to write? It happens. But what if you really want to stick to schedule and get that chapter banged out?

I have a very busy brain and I don’t ever suffer from writer’s block (think a constant push of writer’s flood), but sometimes getting to “the zone” (as Stephen King calls it—by the way, I recommend his book as being one of the best books for aspiring writers to read) well, getting to where you can let go of worrying about that thing called real life can be tough.

Have you ever done some warm-up exercises? Mental ones, to push you where you need to go?

I’ve just finished a novel set in 1952. Before sitting down to write, I’d listen to a few songs. “In the Mood” was a good one. Sometimes, I’d get out the Life Magazines from 1952 that I’d bought. I’d listen to Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller and cruise through the magazine, studying the pictures, looking at the advertisements. By pushing myself from the outside, it helped me get to where I needed to be on the inside.

Now I’m working on a Steampunk story that will be set in the late 1800s, probably 1888.  What have I done to get ready?

To help me find my way, I'll read portions of Larklight by Philip Reeve, an author I admire. This is a delightful adventure by the way. 

 I got a copy of the Steampunk Bible. I'll browse through it, finding pictures or sections that might inspire me. I'm also spending time on-line looking at Steampunk machinery. It's so fascinating.

I also watched "A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" a movie which came out a while back, one that is considered Steampunk.

Now, I'm so in the mood for writing this story I can hardly wait to get back to work on Chapter Four!

Do what you need to when it's time to get in the mood for writing. Sometimes, just a bit of music can help. It's important to train yourself so that you don't keep putting off that next chapter or the section where your writing group said is slow and needs to be rewritten. 
Find what works, set a schedule and stick to it!


  1. Great advice! Sometimes I need to go on a tangent, similar to your way of reading related books, to get inspired again. Stephen King's book is one of my favorite books on craft and I read parts of it often. Coincidentally, I posted a Ray Bradbury quote on my blog just today about staying inspired.

  2. I like your ideas...they inspire me to get inspired!